After two years, March Madness is finally back as college basketball will soon have a new champion for the 2021 tourney. Many sports personalities have already been giving their opinions on who they think will reach the Final Four and win it all this year, too. This includes NBA legend Charles Barkley, who recently revealed that he is putting all his betting money on just two squads — the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears men’s basketball teams.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears are No. 1 seeds in the 2021 March Madness bracket
The 2021 March Madness bracket came out on Sunday, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears men’s basketball teams are two of the four one seeds. The Michigan Wolverines and Illinois Fighting Illini are the other two.
All four of them have some tough teams in their regions, too. Gonzaga may have to get through two-seeded Iowa or three-seeded Kansas to reach the Final Four, while Michigan could have to face two-seeded Alabama or three-seeded Texas.
Baylor, on the other hand, has an extremely tough two seed in their region, as the Ohio State Buckeyes, who just barely lost in the Big Ten Championship Game, will be looking to knock them out. Three-seeded Arkansas is a tough team in the south as well.
Additionally, for Illinois, they may have to go through two-seeded Houston or three-seeded West Virginia. However, they also potentially have the toughest four seed in the bracket in Oklahoma State, who has arguably the best player in the country, Cade Cunningham.
While there are many good teams in this year’s March Madness bracket, though, NBA legend Charles Barkley is risking it all on two teams.
Charles Barkley is only betting on 2 March Madness teams
NBA legend Charles Barkley, who also covers March Madness, recently appeared on his podcast, The Steam Room, with Ernie Johnson. He ultimately said that he has already made several bets on the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears men’s basketball teams.
“I have made 15 bets on dinner, dinner and a couple bottles of wine,” Barkley said on the March 11 episode. “I took Gonzaga and Baylor and gave them the field. … I’ve watched Baylor and Gonzaga play probably 10 to 15 times. They’re both talented, deep. They’ve got veterans and they’ve got terrific coaches.”
He has a ton of confidence in those two teams. So, are they good choices?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears are 2 of the best college basketball teams in the country
It’s really hard to argue with Charles Barkley’s choices here.
Gonzaga hasn’t lost all year, as they are 26-0 with wins over Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa, and Virginia. They have multiple scoring threats, too, as five guys score 9.2 points per game or more and four average in double-figures. The Bulldogs’ two best players, though, are Corey Kispert and Drew Timme. Kispert averages 19.2 points per game and 4.9 rebounds, while Timme scores 18.7 points to go with 7.1 rebounds. Gonzaga hasn’t lost yet this year, and it’s hard to imagine them losing at all.
Baylor, on the other hand, is 22-2 and plays in one of the toughest conferences in America. They have wins over Illinois, Texas Tech (twice), Oklahoma State (twice), West Virginia, Texas, and Kansas. Baylor also has one of the best players in the country in Jared Butler, who averages 17.1 points per game. This is in addition to MaCio Teague (16.2 points per game) and Davion Mitchell (14.1 points per game). Baylor is also really good from 3-point range, as they shoot 41.8% from beyond the arc.
So, while it may be a huge risk to only take two teams against the field in Charles Barkley’s case, you have to like his odds. But hey, it’s March Madness — anything can happen.
Stats courtesy of ESPN
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